Diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolic disease and life long health condition that causes blood sugar levels, to become too high. There are two main types of diabetes, type one and type two. It is often recommended to monitor your blood sugar levels to keep track of your condition.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Diabetes is a metabolic disease and life long health condition that causes blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose levels, to become too high. There are two main types of diabetes, type one and type two.

In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2.

It is very important for diabetes to be treated as it often gets progressively worse over time.

Some treatments for diabetes can include insulin injections and medication but it is often recommended that you make lifestyle changes to monitor your health if diagnosed with diabetes.

Always follow the advice of your doctor of pharmacist when it comes to controlling your diabetes.

Type one diabetes is where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin.

Type two diabetes is where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that controls the amount of sugar in the blood.

Like many health conditions diabetes has symptoms which include but are not limited to:

  • feeling very thirsty
  • frequent need to urinate
  • feeling very tired
  • unintentional weight loss
  • frequent episodes of thrush
  • cuts or wounds that heal slowly
  • blurred vision

Many people who have type two diabetes go un-diagnosed for years as symptoms tend to be general. If you experience any of these symptoms you should phone your GP immediately.

If you have diabetes your body is unable to break down glucose into energy. Type one diabetes is often genetic or related to family history as it is classified as an autoimmune disease. Type two diabetes is often multifactorial, some common contributors to type two diabetes include:

  • obesity
  • increasing age
  • bad diet

It is recommended when trying to manage diabetes that you eat a healthy balanced diet and upkeep regular exercise. Regular blood glucose readings can also help you keep track of your blood sugar levels to ensure you and your doctor are able to control your diabetes efficiently.

You can buy a blood glucose monitor over the counter or from a trusted online pharmacy such as e-Surgery.

Your doctor may recommend that you buy a monitor to gain a better understanding of your condition. Always take the advice of your doctor on how often you should record your blood glucose levels.

When using a monitor yourself a normal target for blood pressure is 4 to 7mmol/l before eating and under 8.5 to 9mmol/l 2 hours after a meal.

Exercise lowers blood sugar levels, it is recommended that you try to exercise 2.5hours a week.

Exercise is any form of activity that causes lack of breath or sweating.

Some examples of exercises that you might want to consider are:

  • Walking
  • Gardening
  • Cleaning

It is important to maintain and monitor your diabetes otherwise it could lead to other health complications such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Nerve damage
  • Vision loss
  • Increased risk of sores and infections

Blood sugar levels can increase due to many factors including:

  • stress
  • illness
  • snacking on sugary foods and drinks
  • a lack of exercise
  • missing a dose of diabetes medication
  • overeating
  • taking certain medications, such as steroids.

Blood sugar levels can decrease due to many factors including:

  • Medications, especially taking too much insulin
  • skipping or delaying a meal
  • not eating enough carbohydrates
  • exercise that is intense or unplanned
  • drinking alcohol

You may be diagnosed with pre-diabetes if your blood sugar levels are higher than the normal range but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.

Your doctor will help you create a care plan to ensure your blood sugar levels are managed.

Type one diabetes as previously mentioned is an autoimmune disease caused by the immune system. This is not preventable and sometimes the factors that cause type two diabetes such as genetics or age are not controllable either.

If you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes you can follow the below advice to delay or prevent type two diabetes:

  • Regular exercise
  • Healthy balanced meals
  • Weight loss if you are overweight

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